Author Archives: Raven Cypress Wood

239th Anniversary of the Birth of Kündun Sonam Lodrö, the 22nd Menri Trizin

Pages from the hagiography of Kündun Sonam Lodro, the 22nd Menri Trizin. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

A Bit of Praise for the Kind Root Lama, the Great Scholar Sonam Lodrö Wangi Gyalpo

“Among the beings of the snow, you are a meritorious, precious one. Because of your previous training, you reached the pinnacle of powerful thought through your unmatched, steadfast intelligence for everything.

Praise to you, a king who has destroyed the enemy five poisons!

By the power of praising and supplicating to you,

during this lifetime, for both myself and the other limitless sentient beings who are my mothers and fathers, 

may adversity and obstacles not arise!

And in the future, may we attain perfect buddhahood!”

—   Excerpt from: A Garland of Lotuses, Hagiography of the Exalted Presence of Sonam Lodrö

On the auspicious 8th day of the 4th lunar month during the Male Wood Dragon year [1784 CE] , Kündun Sonam Lodrö was born in Gyalrong, Tibet. In 2023, this dates coincides with May 27th on the Western calendar. This is an auspicious day to perform virtue and spiritual practice, especially following the teachings of Kündun Sonam Lodro.

In 1810 CE, he became the 22nd abbot of Tashi Menri Monastery and received the formal name of Tenzin Sonam Lodrö Wangi Gyalpo. He was the first Menri trizin to spend extensive time on pilgrimages and practicing in remote areas away from the monastery. Because of this, fame for his intellectual knowledge, realization of wisdom, and adherence to even the smallest monastic rules widely spread.

He had many visionary encounters with deities and protectors. During one of these visions, an emanation of Buddha Sherap Jamma appeared and gave him the aural transmission for The Heartdrop of Jamma. (This text has been translated into several languages. See previous article: Many well-known Yungdrung Bön scriptures commonly used today are attributed to him. These include:

  • The Heartdrop of Jamma: Aural Transmission of Khandro Serap Lopel
  • Aural Transmission of the Practice of Rainbow Powa
  • Sipé Gyalmo of the Six Times’ Clairvoyance of the Three Thousand-fold Universe which is Like a Clear Mirror
  • Alphabetical Praise for a Vision of Red Mule Sipé Gyalmo
  • Practice of Blue Dzambhala: A Storehouse of Treasure
  • Spontaneous Wish-fulfillment of Removing Obstacles from the Path

“Within the palace of great bliss at the crown of my head is the embodiment of all the buddhas, the root lama, surrounded by all the enlightened ones of the three times and ten directions. 

To the one who has knowledge and kindness towards migrating beings like a loving mother, I devotedly prostrate, present offerings, and supplicate! Compassionately bless me and all other migrating beings! 

Without exception, having pacified all illness, obstacles, and external interferences, lead us along the path of liberation and great bliss!”

From A Flowing River of Supplications and Blessings by Kündun Sonam Lodro

A collection of Kündun Sonam Lodro’s divine writings is contained within the English language book Forty-Three Trainings for an Enlightened Mind and Other Divine Writings. For more information or to find out how to purchase a copy of the book, see previous article:

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

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Guidance and Protection from the Wise, Loving Mother

Buddha Sherap Jamma*

Buddha Sherap Jamma, The Wise Loving Mother, is one of the four primary enlightened ones of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. Her practices are widespread and well known. Sky-Ladder of Freedom: An Abridged Commentary Regarding the Meaning of the Words of the Mantric Praise of Jamma, the Deity Who Protects From All Things, provides a concise description of the profundity of Buddha Sherap Jamma.

“She is the source of the essence of wisdom, as well as the source of the natural mind of all the enlightened ones. She is the empty aspect of space in which everything is arising, everything is abiding, and everything is dissolving. She is the essence of absolute reality. In order to lovingly care for all sentient beings like a mother cares for her only child, she engages in supreme activity by guiding in the manner of a goddess. She is the great mother who has given birth to all the buddhas of the three enlightened bodies, all of whom possess the defining characteristics of having conquered both the two obscurations and all karmic potentialities, as well as being buddhas of the three times of past, present and future.”

In the early 1960’s after the cultural revolution of 1959, the first Bönpo refugee community was established by the Red Cross in Dhorpatan, Nepal. At that time, 32nd Abbot of Menri Monastery, Kündun Sherap Lodro, was staying in Kathmandu after having fled Tibet. He traveled to Dhorpatan and initiated the construction of a temple. This temple was called Tashi Gégye Thaten Ling, but became commonly referred to as Dhorpatan Gompa. Management of the temple was taken over by Tsultrim Nyima, father of the current abbot of Triten Norbutse, Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche. As a method of preserving and strengthening the Yungdrung Bön tradition, Lama Tsultrim Nyima advised the Bönpo refugees to recite The Heartdrop of Jamma together as a family every evening after dinner. This evening recitation continues to this very day among many Bönpo families.

Handwritten manuscript of The Heartdrop of Jamma

The Heartdrop of Jamma, or Jamma Nying Tik, is an aural transmission given by Khandro Sherap Lopelma, an emanation of Sherap Jamma, to His Holiness 22nd Menri Trizin Sonam Lodro Rinpoché. In this practice, every part of the physical body, consciousness, and mind are transformed into one of the manifestations of Buddha Sherap Jamma.

“My own body is the mandala of Künsal Jamma. From the syllable OM at the channel of the heart manifests Sherap Jamma. From the SA at the channel of the spleen manifests Tapgyi Jamma. From the HA at the channel of the lungs manifests Mönlam Jamma. From the RI at the channel of the liver manifests Tukjé Jamma. From the NI at the channel of the kidneys manifests Topkyi Jamma. They are the Guide Mothers for all migrating beings, who dispel the darkness of cyclic existence. I prostrate to the Mothers who are the Destroyers of the demon army of the five poisons!”

— From The Heartdrop of Jamma

June 3rd-4th, 2023, this practice will be taught in-person and via Zoom by the resident lama of Ligmincha Texas, Geshe Denma Gyaltsen. The teaching will be given in English and translated into Spanish and Portuguese. More information can be found here:

The English, Spanish, and French language translations of The Heartdrop of Jamma are available for purchase. The Portuguese language translation is being completed and will be available soon. More information and the ordering links can be found on the Publications page of this website.

Menri Geshe Denma Gyaltsen, resident lama of Ligmincha Texas

June 14th-July 3rd, 2023 Geshe Yongdong Losar, founder and spiritual director of Sherab Chamma Ling in Courtenay BC, Canada will be offering his 4th annual 21 Days of the 21 Manifestations of Sherab Chamma. For 21 consecutive days, Geshe Yongdong will guide a one hour online practice emphasizing one of the primary 21 manifestations of Buddha Sherab Chamma. Every Sunday during the series, he will teach and provide students with an opportunity to ask questions and share experiences. The text used for this unique retreat opportunity will be The Beneficial Mantric Praise of Künsal Jamma Chenmo, The All-Clear Loving Mother. This text was taught directly by Buddha Tönpa Shenrap.

“The mantra of the twenty-one Victors, the praise of the Victorious Jamma of Bön, was spoken by the Victor Tönpa Shenrap.  These twenty-one verses are, without exception, beyond cyclic existence and a completely pure practice. By reciting out loud the twenty-one praises, one will obtain immeasurable benefits. Praise to Tönpa Shenrap for revealing these twenty-one praises of the root mantra!”

— From The Beneficial Mantric Praise of Künsal Jamma Chenmo, The All-Clear Loving Mother

“The syllable OM is the essence of the pure, five Enlightened Bodies. The completely clear Bönku manifests as Sherap Jamma Chenmo, the Great, Wise, Loving Mother. The Dzok ku manifests as Tapchen Chamma, Loving Mother of Great Method. The Tülku manifests as Mönlam Chamma, Loving Mother of Aspirational Prayers. The actual manifestation of enlightenment, Tukjé Jamma, is like the queen of the khandro and is also known as the great consort, Kyema Ödtso, the Lake of Light. The Body of Great Bliss within phenomenal existence manifests as Topkyi Jamma, Loving Mother of Power. 

There are extensive teachings regarding the essence and nature of each of these supreme, five Enlightened Bodies. These teachings are included within The Unsurpassed Scripture Regarding the Eight RealmsThe Path of the Indestructible Ten GroundsThe Scripture of Completely Pure Morality and DisciplineThe Yungdrung Bodhisattvas who Established the Meaning, and The Complete Collection of Expansive Virtue. I prostrate to that Great Mother who arises as the sovereign lord of these five volumes of scripture!”

— From Sky-Ladder of Freedom, the commentary for The Beneficial Mantric Praise of Künsal Jamma Chenmo:

More information about this retreat can be found here:

Geshe Yongdong Losar, founder of Sherab Chamma Ling

*Both spellings “Chamma” and “Jamma” are used widely although the standard phonetics for an English language speaker is “Jamma.”

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Sherap Jamma sa tsa. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

A Modern-day Tertön: Sang Ngak Lingpa

Painted sa tsa image of Sang Ngak Lingpa. Photo credit: Himalayan Art Resources.

Sang Ngak Lingpa, also known as Nyak Ter Sang Ngak Lingpa or Rikdzin Sang Ngak Lingpa, was born in 1865 CE in Nyak Shö Eastern Tibet. His father was Tsering Tashi and his mother was Pema Kyi. He became a great tertön, revealer of sacred hidden treasure, and was both a disciple and lama of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen. The Hagiography of the A Tri Lineage Lamas written by Shardza Rinpoche contains a brief overview of his life and accomplishments.

From a young age he had a pleasant and gentle demeanor, and could read and write at the age of four. He went on to have many lamas and worked together with his companion Khandro Dechen Wanggi Dronma, also known as Khandro Dechen Wangmo, who was also a renowned tertön and lama. (See previous post ) Both he and Khandro Wangmo were nonsectarian. Thus, they are associated with both the Yungdrung Bön and the New Bön religious traditions.

Tertön Lingpa met Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen at the latter’s hermitage, Dechen Ritro, and they had a profound influence upon one another’s life and works. Due to the advice and assistance of Sang Ngak Lingpa, Shardza Rinpoche created xylographic copies of his extensive compositions. Tertön Lingpa bestowed many teachings and empowerments upon Shardza Rinpoche, and also advised him regarding the finding and revealing of terma, or sacred hidden treasures. Many of the tertön’s revelations were made as a direct result of a personal request by Shardza Rinpoche to reveal a terma in order to benefit the multitude of suffering sentient beings.

Tertön Sang Ngak Lingpa

While staying in the meditation cave of Yudrang Chukmo, he had a spontaneous vision of the enlightened religious protector Sipé Gyalmo. In response to a fervent request by Khandro Dechen Wangmo regarding his vision, he composed a short exhortation for the sacred activity of Sipé Gyalmo.

“JO! Self-arising wisdom appears as Sipé Gyal, protector of the teachings within the boundaries of cyclic existence and nirvana.

To you, the principal deity, Single Mother, a goddess riding a black mule, and to your retinue; I present a vast expanse of pure clouds of offerings.

Having repaired and fulfilled my sacred commitments with you, thoroughly establish the accomplishment, without exception, of spontaneous, enlightened activity!

Liberate the antagonistic and malevolent enemies of the teachings!

Think of me like a mother for her child! Spread the teachings of the Yungdrung Bön!”

A brief list of Tertön Sang Ngak Lingpa’s textual terma includes:

  • Exoterical
    • A Rainfall of Nectar which is like an Ocean
    • Rites for the Lu
  • Esoterical
    • The Secret Mantra of Meri for Forceful Protection
    • Accomplishment of Takla for Subduing Phenomena
    • Peaceful and Wrathful Rites for the Lord of the Dead
    • Cycle of Practices for Red Mule Sipé Gyalmo
    • Cycle of Practices for Black Mule Sipé Gyalmo
    • Quintessential Instructions for Fixation and Agitation
    • General Collection of the Tantra of Sangwa Düpa
    • A Cycle of Longevity Practices
    • The Inner Essence of the Accomplishment of Longevity
    • Accomplishing Longevity for the Lama
  • Secret
    • Practices of the Great Completion for Accomplishing the Two Stages of the Three Bodies
    • Cycle of Instructions for the Chöd Practice of Tukjé Kündrol
    • Accomplishment of Mawé Sengé
  • Extraordinary
    • Hagiography of the Immortal and Great Tsewang Rikdzin
    • Hagiography of the Widely Known Drenpa Namkha

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Annual Retreat of the Peaceful & Wrathful Walsé Ngampa

The Yidam Walsé Ngampa and the Great Mother Ngammo Yumchen Tröpe Taktenma

Each year on the 23rd-29th lunar days of the 2nd lunar month, Menri Monastery performs a week-long retreat of the yidam Walsé Ngampa. In 2023, these dates correspond to April 13th-19th on the Western calendar. The retreat includes recitation of the complete yidam text along with accumulation of the mantra, one hundred feast offerings to the yidam and his retinue, as well as a ritual of protection to turn away malevolent forces as well as the causes for illness, accidents, conflicts, and other types of harm and danger.

The yidam Walsé Ngampa is one of the Five Supreme Embodiments, or literally the Five Supreme Citadels of the Father Tantra that are manifestations of the enlightened body, speech, mind, quality, and activity of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché. Walsé Ngampa is the embodiment of Enlightened Body. He is dark blue with nine heads and eighteen arms with which he holds various weapons for subduing obstacles. He is the manifested form of the wisdom of emptiness. His consort has the nature of Buddha Satrik Érsang and is known as Ngammo Yumchen Tröpé Taktenma with a body color that is dark green with blue hair and eyebrows. In her right hand, she holds an amulet containing the earth and sky. In her left hand, she holds a vase of nectar. And she wears a necklace of the planets and stars.

The main ritual text for this deity is entitled, Stages of Practice for Walsé which was composed by the great sage Drenpa Namkha and rediscovered as a terma by Matön Drol Dzin in 1091 from a rock in Dangra Khyung-dzong. Reciting this text and performing the associated rituals has a profound benefit of blessing and protection. Menri Monastery will be performing this sacred activity or the benefit and welfare of all beings in support of their happiness and development of wisdom.

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100,000 Offerings for the Queen of Existence, the Enlightened Protector Sipé Gyalmo

Sipé Gyalmo statue installed in the Menri Monastery protectors’ temple

Beginning on April 24, 2023 and continuing for one week, Menri Monastery in India will perform their annual ritual of One Hundred Thousand Offerings to the Queen of Existence, Sipé Gyalmo Bum Tsok. This important ritual is performed for the purpose of requesting the enlightened protector Sipé Gyalmo to remove obstacles and bestow her blessings. This year, the emphasis will include requesting her blessings for longevity, excellent health, and success for His Holiness the 34th Menri Trizin, His Eminence Yongdzin Rinpoche, and His Eminence Menri Pönlop Rinpoche; as well as her help in the complete eradication of the global pandemic and for the peace and happiness of all beings.

Monks, nuns, and laypeople will all participate in the preparation and execution of the ritual. One hundred thousand small torma will be made and offered alongside one large torma, and other offerings of food, flowers, butter lamps, pure water, and sweet smelling incense. The merit of supporting and/or participating in this ritual removes obstacles, increases fortunate circumstances such as being protected from harm and being blessed with prosperity, good health, and harmonious circumstances.

Offering support and making a connection with a donation of even a single dollar brings great benefit. Donations can be made through multiple organizations. Kyungdzong Wodsel Ling is the North American center for His Eminence Menri Pönlop Yangtön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche and they are collecting donations to be sent to Menri Monastery in support of the Sipé Gyalmo Bum Tsok. They ask that all donations be made by April 20th. More information about the Bum Tsok and a link for donating can be found here:

The full amount of every donation will be sent to Menri Monastery and designated for the ritual. This donation can be dedicated for those that are ill, in danger, have recently passed away, or for yourself. If you are unable to donate monetarily, you can also participate by engaging in Sipé Gyalmo practice, mantra recitation, engaging in acts of virtue and avoiding acts of non-virtue during the time of the week-long ritual.

100,000 offering torma for the enlightened protector, Sipé Gyalmo. Photo credit: Unknown.

Sipé Gyalmo is an enlightened protector and also a yidam, or meditational deity. Her invocations and offerings are performed daily in Yungdrung Bön Monasteries.

“Within a burial ground ablaze with an eon-destroying fire, amidst swirling waves in an ocean of dark-colored blood, majestically sitting atop a black mule is the Queen of Existence, the single mother who brings migrating being to bliss.

Her body is the frightening color of dark-colored lapis lazuli. She has three faces and six arms. Her right face is white, her left face is red, and the face in the center is dark blue. Her blue-black hair billows upwards. The crown of her head is adorned with the perfect buddhas of the three times. Her nine overwhelming eyes blaze like an eon-destroying fire. Her six ears are perfectly curved like half-moons. The clicking sound of her tongues causes vow-breakers and evil forces to fall unconscious. The upper part of her body moves and is beautiful, and on the lower part of her body she wears a tiger skin as a skirt. She is ornamented with encircling, tamed snakes and a necklace of skulls.

The first hand on her right raises a dark-colored victory banner. The first hand on her left holds a mirror that illuminates the three realms of phenomenal existence. The middle hand on her right lifts a sharp, sword of wisdom. The middle hand on her left grasps an iron hook of method and compassion. The final hand on her right holds a sharp phurba of fierce liberation. The final hand on her left holds a human skull-cup filled with blood.

She uses a poisonous black snake as a halter for her magnificent black mule. The three upper and lower straps of her saddle are turquoise snakes. Her mount wears a crown of silk ribbons at its ears and is adorned with a necklace of gold, silver, and turquoise Bönpo flat bells.”

Sipé Gyalmo, Queen of Existence, who rides a black mule

“Having accomplished your practices in successive previous lifetimes, Mother Sipé Gyalmo,

you lovingly protect me like a mother protects her very own child.

Like the body and its shadow, you surround me with your love and affection.

Single-pointedly, I supplicate to you from my heart!

Never separated from your loving compassion, 

protect me with your four kinds of peaceful, expansive, powerful, and wrathful activities!

Please act so that whatever goal or intention that I wish for will be accomplished without any hindrance!”

Sipe Gyalmo’s Entrusted Activity composed by Shardza Rinpoche. Translated by Raven Cypress Wood

You can subscribe to the Khyungdzong Wodsel Ling newsletter by following this link:

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